South African Jordy Smith continued his phenomenal run of form that has seen him jump from 14th to seventh on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) rankings when he finished runner-up to Mick Fanning in the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal on Monday.
After the shock elimination of rankings front-runners Gabriel Medina and Kelly Slater, Fanning displayed genuine world title winning form to clinch his third event title of the year.
Fanning is also the current JBay Open title holder, when he won the event during the JBay Winterfest.
The victory sees Fanning overtake Slater for second place on the rankings going into the final event of the year at Pipeline in Hawaii in December and opens the door for a possible fourth ASP World Title.
“I am just so stoked,” said Fanning. “I didn’t really think about a win to tell you the truth, it just happened.
Jordy Smith surfed amazingly well, as did John John Florence and I am just stoked I got to get a result out of it.
Smith, who won the Hurley Pro Trestles in California last month and finished third in the Quiksilver Pro France confirmed his status as one of the world’s top 10 surfers.
His string of impressive performances culminated in the South African defeating the inform John John Florence in their Semifinal clash which took the young Hawaiian out of the 2014 ASP World Title race.
Heading into the final event of the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, the Billabong Pipeline Masters, three surfers remain in contention for this year’s world surfing crown: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Mick Fanning (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA).
Current ASP WCT Top 10 (following the Moche Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 56,550 pts
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 53,100 pts
3. Kelly Slater (USA) 50,050 pts
4. John John Florence (HAW) 47,950 pts
5. Michel Bourez (PYF) 43,750 pts
6. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 43,100 pts
7. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 42,900 pts
8. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 42,250 pts
9. Taj Burrow (AUS) 41,700 pts
10. Kolohe Andino (USA) 35,900 pts